Today’s offering is a 29 year old Clynelish that was distilled in the year following Brora’s closing, and shares many of the Brora characteristics. Being a SMWS single cask, don’t get your hopes up for this to be a regularity, but this cask is very special in that way.
It’s a refill ex sherry butt, that lost over a third of its content to the angles over the last three decades, clocking in at 348 liters for the 548 bottles. It has a light smokiness (singed fabricated pinewood smoke, not peatiness) that hints of the very old peat on the nose (none on the palate, though), and with a little more waxiness, would have you completely fooled. This dram is very special indeed.
Scotch Malt Whisky Society 26.105 – Clynelish 29 ‘Bumblebees by the Sea’ – Refill Sherry Butt distilled 29.11.1984, Bottled September 2014, Yield 548 Bottles (57.6% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold with a very slight reddish coppery tinge with pretty slow legs.
Nose: Dry honey, light smokiness like a pine board being sawed or burnt with a magnifying glass, old dusty sherry, woodiness (not oak, more like a 2*4 would smell), light balsamic vinegar, white grapes, sawdust and tree bark. If left covered, the balsamic is overwhelming on the nose right after uncovering, then dissipates.
Palate: Honey, hot black pepper and hibiscus flower tea over an underlying strata of spiciness (that can’t be broken down further). The word crisp comes to mind.
Linger: Spicy on the top of the palate and sweet on the sides of it, around the teeth (first time the waxiness comes about). Tongue has sweetness and peppiness in a very long finish.
This one can’t really be classified in any real “distillery category”. I think that the SMWS clan of ‘Light and Delicate’ is actually the best way to describe it.
If tasted blind, I’m not sure I’d say Clynelish/Brora – but having them as a reference puts this one closer to the Brora 22.
Fascinating dram, I’m really glad I have enough for another one 🙂